Unified Patent Court Resource Center - McDermott Will & Emery



The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the European patent with unitary effect (Unitary Patent) are revolutionizing the way patents are enforced in Europe. McDermott’s Intellectual Property team is deeply familiar with the patent landscape in Europe and the United States and is well-positioned to advise clients on developing an appropriate UPC plan of action and integrating it with their broader international strategy.

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The goal of the UPC is to reduce the cost and complexity associated with enforcing patents in the EU Member States and to generally improve the patent system in Europe. A UPC decision on infringement, validity, injunction and damages will be enforceable in all participating states—currently 17 countries including France and Germany. The UPC will be the exclusive forum for actions relating to Unitary Patents. It will also be competent for traditional European patents, unless the European patent has been proactively opted out, and for supplementary protection certificates granted for European patents.


The UPC provides many opportunities and potential benefits but, as a new court, it remains untested. We are here to advise clients and help them navigate any uncertainties. McDermott’s capabilities include:

  • Developing a Robust Cross-Border Strategy. We offer in-depth knowledge of our clients’ industries, including the technical, economic and regulatory environments, and can advise on both offensive and defensive strategies.
    • Offensive. Our team can advise on whether the UPC is the right avenue for enforcement according to a client’s priorities and goals. When the time comes, we can prepare and file infringement and revocation actions in the UPC. We can also advise on whether US or UK litigation should be included in the enforcement strategy.
    • Defensive. Our team is well qualified to advise on patents that may be at risk of central attack and products that may face heightened infringement risk by the new venue. We can also help manage those risks and defend against competitor attacks. If an action is filed, we can prepare the defense in the litigation.
    • Opt-out. Our team can advise on whether opting out of the UPC is the right course of action. Below are just a few example reasons to consider.
The patent or patent family is too valuable to risk central revocation in the participating UPC Member States The UPC could provide a speedy decision awarding an injunction and damages for several UPC Member States
A dispute with another party may lead to an action before the UPC, preventing you from opting out at a later time A competitor may bring national proceedings and remove the possibility of opting back in at a later time
German bifurcation between infringement and invalidity proceedings increases the chances of obtaining an injunction more quickly It may reduce costs and administrative time when compared to multiple national court actions because evidence gathered in one country can easily be used UPC-wide
The patent or patent family has already unsuccessfully opposed by a competitor, and is therefore susceptible to an action for central revocation


  • Unitary Patent Filings. Our team can assist with the strategy and paperwork for obtaining Unitary Patents and national patents.
    • R&D and License Agreements. We can also advise on how to address existing or to-be-negotiated R&D and licensing agreements.



UPC jurisdiction will cover all EU Member States that ratify the UPC Agreement. Seventeen countries ratified before the launch date and it is expected that other countries will do so in the future. This map will continue to be updated as more countries ratify.



LSPN Europe 2023, “The Unified Patent Court: The New Era,” November 21, 2023

OCIPLA Virtual Event, “Unified Patent Court: Initial Cases,” November 16, 2023

Life Sciences Dealmaking Symposium 2023, “IP Workshop: Asset Valuation and the Changing International Landscape,” November 9, 2023

IAM Connect: UPC 2023, “Using the New Court System to Maximum Effect,” October 17, 2023

6th Annual International IP Summit, “EU’s Unified Patent Court,” October 12-13, 2023



2024 IP Outlook: Trends Affecting Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secret Holders, December 12, 2023

McDermott IP Focus: UPC Launch, December 8, 2022 (recording below)



The UPC Means Business: Latest Patentee Wins Preliminary Injunction, On the Subject, September 25, 2023

A Win for Patentees: UPC Issues First Reasoned DecisionsOn the Subject, August 24, 2023

Early Adoption of the Unified Patent CourtOn the Subject, July 21, 2023

Is the Top-Down FRAND Approach Officially Trending in Europe?On the Subject, July 18, 2023

The Proposed EU SEP Regulations: A Quiet Move Toward a Top-Down World?On the Subject, June 7, 2023

Countdown to the Unified Patent CourtOn the Subject, May 22, 2023

The EU’s Draft Regulations on SEP Licensing: Additional Context from the Impact Assessment ReportOn the Subject, April 17, 2023

First Look at the EU’s Draft Regulations on SEP LicensingOn the Subject, April 11, 2023

Are You Ready for the UPC? Act Now to Prepare for its Opening On June 1On the Subject, March 1, 2023



International News: The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent Protection, February 13, 2023

2023 IP Outlook: Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent Update, February 2, 2023

2022 IP Outlook Report: After a Multiyear Saga, UPC Nears Fruition, March 1, 2022



EU Unified Patent Court Announces Intent to Launch, October 20, 2022

European UPC All Set for Set Up as Protocol Enters into Force, January 27, 2022

European UPC Almost Ready to Launch as Austrian Parliament Approves Ratification, December 9, 2021

Only One More Ratification Needed: European UPC Might Be Ready to Launch, October 7, 2021

Unified at Last? Germany’s Constitutional Court Removes UPC Hurdle, July 22, 2021